Need help with an ongoing problem


#1

I am suffering for the sins of my past. Before I became a devout Catholic, I was at the pinnacle of all that secular life offered…primarily money, women, and a lot of partying…life couldn’t have been better (that is what I thought before I found The Catholic Church :slight_smile: ). When I got my head screwed on straight…I left all of those terrible things behind, joined the Catholic Church and haven’t missed that lifestyle one bit. I gave up my high paying job to move back home and manage a small family owned restraunt…so now I live modestly, but I am close to my family and that is better than any paycheck. In addition, I left my partying days behind and I rarely touch the bottle now and if I do so, it is usually during games or special occasion and I do it in moderation. With those two problems being cured…That leaves us with women. My problem with the ladies is not that I am having pre-marital affairs (like I used to do before I became a devout Catholic)…it is the desires and impure thought I get when I see a beautiful girl. I think about the old days and I find myself being disgusted with myself, yet I can not control the thoughts that pop into my head. I am living a chaste lifestyle now…I have been doing so for quite a while and I intend to do so until I am married…however, my mind gets bombarded with lustful thoughts, desires, etc. when I see a beautiful woman and I do my best not to entertain these thoughts and I try to pray and shut them out and it works temporarily…but it always happens again. Anyone else suffer from this problem? Anyone have advice on it? I know this is a result of my former life where I would indulge my lustful desires whenever I pleased…now those sins are starting to come back and bite me. Any advice?


#2

I’m with ya, brutha. In this culture, we all get bombarded by this type of stuff. I notice it especially in the checkout lines at GROCERY STORES for cryin’ out loud.

Society doesn’t give a rat’s pa-tooty about our eternal souls. They are using every impulse to SELL!!

A few things I have learned that have helped.

  1. This is from Martin Luther in regards to impure thoughts: “You can’t keep vultures from cirling over your head, but you can prevent them from building a nest”.

  2. God see’s your struggles and will bless it. It is a cross you carry.

  3. Mary helps a lot here. Rosaries are fruitful.

  4. If in the midst of temptation you cannot think of a wrote prayer to lift up to God, simply imagine yourself before Him, and picture Him with peaceful eyes and His arm outstretched to you offering to pull you out of the fray. It also helps to picture a host of angels ready to pounce on the demons who are attacking you. Make no mistake, it is spiritual warfare.

  5. Have peace that God WILL give you the grace you need. Then let it go at that. Don’t worry. Be confident that God will prevail.

rich


#3

Grocery stores? I see some of the greatest temptations at mass - the way some of the women dress and carry themselves!:bigyikes:

Keep doing what you’re doing - pray and fight this war one battle at a time. It’s (literally) you against the world.

I try to remember what Our Lord commanded us - to love our neighbors as ourselves. Imagine the person who you have the most pure love for - if you don’t have any children, maybe it’s your mom. When you see a seductive woman, try to imagine her as a person like that, not a beautiful woman, and as your neighbor, your sister in Christ. Of course, do the same thing when you see not-so-seductive women and creepy guys and everyone else. The point is to see them as a person - not to objectify them (I KNOW how ridiculously feminist that sounds, but it’s true). My personal belief is that we rot in purgatory until we’ve learned to love everyone like that.


#4

Hi, my friend.

You may have an underlying problem, which I mentioned in another thread.

Here is my suggestion.

(a) Thank God, in your heart, for this wonderful libido He has given you, though He sent His Own beloved Son to suffer torture, and then crucifixion. Human heterosexuality is a peek at the happiness and pleasure within the perfection of God. We don’t deserve it. But He gave it to us, anyway.

(b) Next, appreciate what that gift is for.

It is for The One.

It is not for you.

It is a social tool.

It is not a tool of self-gratification.

The pleasure of human sexuality is an accident God permits, because He loves us.

© Sexual coveting – looking at what’s shaking by – is also a social tool. You are allowed to do it for ONE PURPOSE ONLY – to look for a lifetime mate, and to appreciate that lifetime mate.

In our culture, many males feel that because God gave them eyes geared to appreciating the flowers, they are allowed to appreciate the flowers.

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

Remember this: IF YOU ARE CHECKING OUT WHAT’S SHAKING BY FOR ANY PURPOSE BUT THAT PURPOSE RECITED ABOVE – TO EARNESTLY LOOK FOR A LIFETIME MATE, AND TO APPRECIATE THAT LIFETIME MATE – IT IS A SIN.

Build within yourself a habit of NOT ENGAGING IN SEXUAL LOOKING EXCEPT FOR THAT LIMITED PURPOSE.

(d) Beware of “not.” “Not” is not a good reason for doing anything. Spend some time figuring out how to be more of a Catholic giver INSTEAD OF a Catholic non-looker. Do you get my point? Be worth a damn.

(e) Pray.

I hope these things help.


#5

Anyone else suffer from this problem?

Yes, every day.

Anyone have advice on it?

Prayer. It took a long time for this sin to become habitual, and it may take at least as long for it to be no longer habitual. As soon as I’m aware of lustful thoughts, I say these words of Jesus: “Get behind me Satan!” Seems goofy, but it works. I then begin to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy or and Act of Contrition and Prayer to St. Michael. I memorized Psalm 23 and finish praying by reciting it, as it seems to me to bring back confidence in the promises of Christ so as not to despair of my recurring sinfulness.

Then pray for perseverance. Think of the entire episode as a tribulation that you have endured faithfully. Such suffering is necessary for adding to your faith an increase in the theological and moral virtues. In that context, we ought to thank God for the opportunity to excel.


#6

Prayer, reading the Scriptures, receiving the Eucharist, you will find over time your faith and the Holy Spirit continues to grow inside you, it will get easier all the time. We all go through it with whatever our personal demons are. And since we are sinners, only by the grace of God and the Holy Spirit inside us, can we resist the temptations.

That being said, you will continue to fail some - hopefully less over time, but we are all sinners after all. God will know if it is your own intent to rebuke sin and every now and then you fail, vs. really thinking it’s ok to sin on and off, kind of like you are on a budget. God knows the difference. :yup:


#7
  1. Try thinking “Get thee behind me, Satan!” when those impure thoughts pop into your mind.

  2. Pray to St. Benedict to and wear his medal.

  3. And check out this link:

ronrolheiser.com/arc012305.html


#8

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